The New Year seems to have everyone in a tizzy about gym memberships, weight loss, cleansing or a whole host of other New Year, New Me endeavors. December seems to be the time of year that people start feeling somewhat nostalgic and look to make a fresh start in January after their fill of Christmas treats.
At one time, I was no different from the next person that had wasted a whole year and was going to kick off January 1st by kicking my butt into shape. I had searched and asked around for opinions on what type of program I should get my lazy butt into. Some friends offered suggestions of a gym membership, but I had given that a go once or twice and hated working out in front of other people. It seems to me as I looked around at all those machines that I was the only one with a spare tire around my middle. Now I know this was not the case, but instead, I was looking at these people through my fun house glass and could only see folks in shape that didn’t need to be at the gym.
I had stumbled my way around the gym trying this machine or that, and after a few frustrating starts, I gave up.
I had no clue how to work any of those fancy machines that were supposed to have me slim and trim by the summer months. I would wander around trying not to seem to obvious that I was staring at someone trying to figure out how that piece of machinery worked as no one else seemed to be asking for help or needing any guidance, and so, rather than look the fool in being the first to ask, I quit going.
There were a few suggestions of giving yoga a try. Keeping in mind this way many years ago and not quite as popular as it is now, I thought this was a great option because not many people would be in the class. I signed up to attend a six week give it a go class and was reluctantly ready to begin bending and stretching.
I had no clue what yoga was, but I was ready to try it.
I didn’t opt for the yoga pants, but instead, I showed up to my first class in a baggy T-shirt and comfy sweats. I stood looking at the other ladies that were standing outside the door waiting for our adventure to begin. A few obviously knew each other, but for the most part, we were just a bunch of single soldiers heading into the unknown on our own. Well, that was what I conveyed by the look on some of the faces anyway. I was feeling like most of these women were looking so I wasn’t all that scared as the doors opened and the teacher opened her arms wide and welcomed us into the studio.
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I know for sure I was not ready for what I saw. The lady standing at the door greeting us reminded me of a hippie from a movie I had watched about Woodstock. Her hair was somewhat up in a messy type of bun with pieces sticking out here, there and everywhere. She looked like some had shocked her with electricity and she hadn’t bothered to worry about fixing it. She had the John Lennon round glasses perched on the end of her nose and a smile that went from ear to ear. I was hoping that whatever she was on that was causing that carefree smile was included in the fees because she looked completely at peace with life.
Her see through white flowing shirt had me thankful she had a little sports bra on underneath and the turquoise palazzo pants billowed behind her as she made her way to the front of the class. She encouraged us to grab a mat and set up where we felt the energy of the room call to us. I looked around at the other ladies to see if I could read the expressions on their faces and if they matched my thoughts. I felt like I had time warped back to the 60s from the mid 90s and somehow managed to find myself in a folk club venue. It was taking everything in me not to burst out laughing and ask where the hidden cameras were.
There were no hidden cameras, and I spent every Wednesday for the next six weeks trying to contort my body into positions it didn’t seem to want to contort into. That woman had the patience of a Saint and would encourage us to go deeper within ourselves and find our Zen zone. By the third class, I was pretty sure yoga was not my thing but I was not going to miss out on the comedic value this class offered me. Not that I would laugh out loud or even smirk while I tried to downward dog or get in the pigeon pose, no our yogi was quite serious when it came to yoga. I will give her credit for the fortitude she had for a bunch of women that were just looking for an escape from young kids and an hour of not hearing Mom called out every 2 minutes.
I didn’t learn much yoga in that six weeks I attended that beginners class, but I did learn that my body can do things I never thought possible. I am not talking about the poses that instructor tried her damnedest to teach me but the fact that I could keep a straight face while my insides were dying to let a belly laugh out and I will give credit where credit is due, I have no doubt she obviously loved her work.
It has been years since I have been determined enough try and make a brand new me because of it being a brand new year. I have since tried yoga a few other times and found it to be quite a relaxing and peaceful experience but that first taste of yoga will always be my favorite.
Author: Debbi Serafinchon
Debbi writes about what she thinks are life’s big questions and how she has found or is seeking to the find answers. The journey is not an easy one but one she needs with all the ups,downs and sharp turns in order to learn. She is a passionate lover of life that hopes by sharing her story you might come to understand you are not alone in your own journey.